James Whitham believes there is much to get excited about if you are a British Superbike-racing fan, as he predicts several home riders are on the cusp of breaking into the top flight.
James Toseland may have won last year's World Superbike crown, but the 2008 championship has not seen a single British rider present until this weekend's home round at Brands Hatch.
Nonetheless, former British Superbike champion and World Superbike race winner Whitham insists Britain is coming up to a golden period judging by the level of talent currently establishing themselves in various SBK and SS series'.
The most obvious of these is Jonathan Rea, the World Supersport race winner being tipped for a possible switch to World Superbikes in 2009 with Ten Kate Honda, but Craig Jones has also proven to be a frontrunner this year, while Tommy Hill has shown flashes of speed between injuries.
Beyond that, Whitham is excited about the young talent rising through the national series, namely Cal Crutchlow, Leon Camier and Tom Sykes.
Indeed, as a guide of their potential form on a global stage, Sykes' sixth place on the grid at Brands Hatch this weekend on the Rizla Suzuki is testament to what could be around the corner.
"There is a lot to be happy about it you are a British race fan if you consider Camier, Crutchlow, Sykes," Whitham told Crash.net
. "I think we are coming up to a strong patch and the next five years are going to be really good. Good news for Brits in the 125 class too with Redding and Smith.
"Tom Sykes is such a good young rider. He doesn't fall off much, but while people have criticised him for not pushing enough sometimes, that is just him being safe and not wanting to crash. He knows he won't win, but he is desperate for a good result. He has a big future in World Superbikes and people will be watching him."
Meanwhile, Whitham is confident double WSBK champion Toseland can pick himself up from a series of disappointing recent results in MotoGP.
"Toseland has dropped off the pace a little bit, but already what he has done has been really good this season," said James. "I know Toseland and he would be a credit to any sport, because anything he wants to do, he has the attitude and the perseverance to make it work. He is not a man to roll over. A few bad results won't stop him from getting to where he wants to go. Good news for Brits in the 125GP class too with Redding and Smith."